Emotional Violence against Women in Public Sphere of Bangladesh: Youth Narratives and Policy Options


  • Mohammad Tareq Hasan University of Dhaka
  • Mizanur Rahman North South University


Violence against women, Emotional violence, Psychological violence, Virtual violence, Social media, Public Sphere


This paper analyses the occurrences of ‘emotional violence’ against women in the ‘public sphere’ of Bangladesh. Most common acts of violence in public space in Bangladesh are gossiping about someone, staring straight at the women, passing comments impersonally but indicatively, pulling scarf or touching indecently in public places and transportation. In the virtual world, common acts of violence are sending ‘indecent’ messages, pictures, videos and web links to random women, bullying someone on Facebook, opening a fake Facebook account using a picture of a woman. These so-called ‘fun activities’ for some people bring emotional sufferings for women. In most cases, abused women ignore the incidences. Based on the findings, we argue that the practice of patriarchy is embedded in relation to other forms of hierarchy and domination, which always renders men a higher social position compared to women. Thus, the feeling of committing a violent act and getting away without any consequence creates a condition of new violence. We have found that the male respondents are more ignorant about laws preventing VAW compared to females. In protesting and taking legal initiatives, however, women face some challenges imposed by the family and society.

Author Biographies

Mohammad Tareq Hasan, University of Dhaka

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology
University of Dhaka
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Email: tareq.hasan@du.ac.bd

Mizanur Rahman, North South University

Lecturer, Department of Political Science and Sociology
North South University
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Email: mizanur.rahman08@northsouth.edu